I am trying to measure the distance (in meters) between points that are in the same layer and I would like to account for the distance of meanders in the stream if possible. I was able to calculate linear distance using the measure tool, although I am sure there is an automated and more efficient way of doing that. Is there a way to measure the distance between two points on a flow line?

Here is a photo example: I would like to measure the distance between points, from 1-2, 2-3, 3-4 and so on.

Points on a flow line

  • Are the red dots the only vertices on the line or just specific vertices along the line? It seems like the latter since the line appears to curve/bend and spots that aren't red dots.
    – bixb0012
    Feb 18, 2023 at 15:06
  • This is a task for liner referencing but you can try gis.stackexchange.com/questions/346127/…
    – FelixIP
    Feb 18, 2023 at 23:39
  • There are several methods, linear referencing or using network analysis tools built into ArcPro. If you have ArcMap consider using RivEX, a tool for extracting such information from river networks, the tool you would want to use is this.
    – Hornbydd
    Feb 19, 2023 at 1:36
  • @bixb0012 The red dots are a separate layer than the polyline layer. The polyline layer is a NHD Flowline layer and point layer is sample points on the stream. I would like to find the distance between each sample point.
    – Rnchriz
    Feb 19, 2023 at 21:52

1 Answer 1


Although flow lines are a natural use-case for linear referencing, building a linearly referenced data set isn't trivial. In this specific case, it isn't necessary so it definitely isn't worth the effort.

If you have a Map with NHD flow lines and a feature class with points that are near or on the flow lines, you can use Split Line at Point (Data Management) - ArcGIS Pro | Documentation to split the flow lines into new segmented flow lines where you can Calculate Geometry Attributes (Data Management) - ArcGIS Pro | Documentation to add the length in units you want. I suggest using selection sets against the NHD flow lines and points to cut down the new feature class to interested/specific flow lines NHD Flowlines and Break Points

Segmented NHD Flowlines

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